…arrests Jamaican, three other Nigerian drug barons
National Drug Law Enforcement Agency operatives on Monday busted a major warehouse located in a secluded estate in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State where 1.8tons (1,855kgs) of cocaine worth over $278,250,000, equivalent of about N194,775,000,000 in street value were seized.
NDLEA spokesman, Femi Babafemi, who disclosed this, on Monday, in Abuja, said that the seizures were the biggest singular cocaine seizure in the agency’s operations history.
He added that no fewer than four drug barons, including a Jamaican and the warehouse manager, were arrested in the well coordinated and intelligence-led operation that lasted two days across different locations in Lagos.
Babafemi said, “Kingpins of the cocaine cartel in custody include: Messrs Soji Jibril, 69, an indigene of Ibadan, Oyo state; Emmanuel Chukwu, 65, who hails from Ekwulobia, Anambra State; Wasiu Akinade, 53, from Ibadan, Oyo State; Sunday Oguntelure, 53, from Okitipupa, Ondo State and Kelvin Smith, 42, a native of Kingston, Jamaica.
“They are all members of an international drug syndicate that the agency has been trailing since 2018.”
The warehouse, which is located at 6 Olukuola Crescent, Solebo Estate, Ikorodu, was raided on Sunday September 18, 2022, while the barons were picked from hotels and their hideouts in different parts of Lagos between Sunday night and Monday September 19.
NDLEA said preliminary investigations revealed that the class A drugs, stored in 10 travel bags and 13 drums, were warehoused in the residential estate from where the cartel was trying to sell them to buyers in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world.
Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd), commended all the officers and men of the agency involved in the extensive investigation, including those of the American Drug Enforcement Administration, (US-DEA).
Marwa described the operation as a historical blow to the drug cartels and a strong warning that they would all go down if they fail to realise that the game had changed and quit illicit drug trafficking.